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Your "Solo Diving." Decompression Bottles(s) Setup?

Discussion in 'Solo Divers' started by Boston Breakwater, Jul 4, 2020.

  1. Boston Breakwater

    Boston Breakwater "Outlaw." Solo Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Brunswick, Georgia.
    Hello, Everyone.
    Firstly, I firmly believe in diving with gear that you are comfortable with. Secondly, I firmly believe in using the appropriate gear for the dive you intend to do.
    Disclaimer; The following setup is " My personal preference." The following setup is "Not" endorsed by "Any" agency.
    Some of you may disagree, and say "That it is wrong." It is "Right." for me.

    I like many.......have been "Solo Diving." for quite awhile. 20 years +
    Whether, I am diving single tanks, or doubles, I typically use more than (1) Bottle.(Slung.) I consider myself a "Deep" "Wreck" Diver.
    (Deep being a relative term,) My max depth is 186 fsw (On air.)
    I prefer to have my hand wheels facing down.( The valves are off.) My First stages,Second stages and my SPG's are tucked in towards my body. Basically for some protection against Bulkheads, Hatchways, Ladder wells,Etc.
    Protection....too some degree...from anything. (I can cover them with my hands, or forearms...If, need be.)
    I also, like the Second stage on my left to be a left-handed configuration, (Ease of use.) and the tank have a left-handed valve.I put some arrows on the photos to help with orientation. The tanks are 40 cubics.
    I dove "Independent Doubles." for many years, and I'm very comfortable with hoses coming from my left.
    I am also attaching an image of my BP/W Harness (Ocean Tuxedo.) to give a better idea, and visual of the complete "Rig."
    My "Second." second stage (I do not use the term "Octopus.") for my back gas is worn around my neck with a necklace. (Again, with the hose coming from my left.) I was taught that my "Second." second stage should be as good as, if not better, than my "Primary." second stage.
    All four Second stages are Apeks, and they are all different models. I have no trouble telling them apart.
    Apeks XTX 200, Apeks XTX 50, Apeks Tungsten.( A glorified XTX 200) Apeks Black Sapphire.(Again, a glorified XTX 200) Respectively.
    I was curious, what other divers use for their setups, and would they post some pictures. I think it would be interesting.
    Best of luck to you. Whatever gear you use, and whatever configuration works for you??? Do it safely, and within your limits.
    Edit: Always remember. "Left. Lean." "Right Rich."
    The M.O.D. sticker was put on to communicate to others....I know, what it is....:wink:
  2. James79

    James79 Reinventor of Wheels ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Lower Alabama
    @Boston Breakwater , I really like (and agree with) the point you make about familiarity/comfort with your configuration. I don't often dive alone, but I treat dives with my kids as solo (I'm their buddy, they are not mine). So I have my AL19 slung as a pony, and due to muscle memory from other training in my job, I sling it on the right side rather than the left that most advocate as a "standard." As I see it, it's for me... so the standard is what is most efficient for me to use. If it's going to be for someone else, the process starts with them getting my primary, and me switching to the pony, then if needed after they are calm, I'll unclip the pony, hand it to them and we can swap regs (probably won't even get to that point, because if someone is on alternate sources the dive is already being ended in the shallow/benign type of diving I do).
  3. broncobowsher

    broncobowsher Solo Diver

    My solo deco configuration is the same as my group deco configuration.
    The difference is in the diving and the planning. Way more conservative when solo.
  4. markmud

    markmud Self Reliant Diver--On All Dives.

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: South Lebanon, Ohio
    Hi Boston,

    My first solo dive was my first dive after being OW certified. I dived while the ink was still wet on the temporary card, literally. I solo dived a lake with a hard bottom at 35 feet with 35 feet vis. That was 16 years ago.

    I think getting a solo cert is good idea for most recreational divers. Tech divers really don't need the extra card. A rec diver will learn a lot. Besides rescue, I think it should be on every rec divers list when they hit 100 dives.

    Exactly. Your subconscious response and muscle memory is more important than orthodoxy from any agency, instructor, or tech guru.

    My solo rig is the same as my group diving rig. I don't do tech diving in a group or solo. True tech anyways.

    I dive a hog looped primary with a necklaced redundant second stage of the same quality as the primary. While group diving, I dive either a slung 13cf or a back mounted 6cf. Most groups I dive in are fairly loose. Many are photographers who are off doing their thing. Many know they are solo, but they think that their life support system will not fail them, because their rigs are well maintained. It is a none issue for them.

    I know differently. Mine did fail even though it was in for service 3 times in 3 months prior to complete failure.

    For solo dives down to 110 feet, I sling a 13cf pony (in true benign conditions). For shallower solo dives I may sling my 13cf or just keep my 6cf back mount if it is already rigged and just restrict my dive to about 60/70 feet.

    I don't change my hog loop or necklaced regs for any pony configuration because I don't like changing my horse mid ride. If it aint broke, don't wrench on it. The horse that brung me, is the horse I am riding.

    On my first dive of the day, I may be self-reliant in a group dive. On my second dive, I may be solo. My third dive may be in another group. My rig does not change.

    Why a 6cf in a group dive? That's ridiculous MarkMud!?!

    If my designated buddy gets engrossed by some picture opportunity, I don't chase them around. If my primary breathing system fails, I can swim over to them on my pony, or go directly to the surface. I am not holding my breath while chasing my AWOL, so-called buddy.

    I have a psychological problem, it is phobia, it is a weakness. I don't want to suck that last breath, and then realize I have to hold my breath and swim at the same depth to my AWOL buddy, or CESA. No thanks.

    Some will say that I have a buddy and training problem. Yeah, you are correct; however, that won't get fixed. They are my friends (wife) and I won't dump them because they don't think like I do. Dive and Let Dive!

    Boston, you asked for a picture, well it is my avatar picture. My 6 cf is rigged in that picture.

    Cdncoldwater, drk5036, Yeason and 3 others like this.
  5. Subcooled

    Subcooled Assistant Instructor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Finland
    For convenience, I put a mod sticker (tape with writing on it, actually) where I can read it: on the neck of the bottle.

    Hand wheels down is a great configuration (thanks for the idea). The hand wheels of my sidemounted bottom gas tanks already point down. It's a great configuration would you ever need to feather a valve for a prolonged time without wasting any gas.
  6. Boston Breakwater

    Boston Breakwater "Outlaw." Solo Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Brunswick, Georgia.
    Hello. @Subcooled It seems to have a more natural feel, with the hand wheels down... at least for me.
  7. ajanelle

    ajanelle DIR Practitioner

    Is there a reason you are diving with both bladders hooked up to inflation? It seems that locating a bladder that is auto-inflating would be especially difficult, if not potentially dangerous.
  8. Boston Breakwater

    Boston Breakwater "Outlaw." Solo Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Brunswick, Georgia.
    Hello. Is this a test? LOL.
    Reason.....Photo purposes.
    If, you look closely at the photo. The small bungee on the right inflator is over the Schrader valve. The inflator hose on the left is not attached during a dive. When taking the photo it looked funny just hanging there, so I attached it.
    If, you want to be technical, it should be opposite. The left inflator should be attached, and the small bungee over that Schrader valve. The right inflator hose should be free. (Unattached.)
    The right inflator controls the rear bladder (furthest from the diver.)
    Ultimately, if using the front bladder, there would theoretically be more protection.
  9. johndiver999

    johndiver999 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Gainesville FL
    What benefit is derived from carrying 4 second stages - while solo when using a single primary tank?
  10. rjack321

    rjack321 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Port Orchard, Washington State
    Same, I dont change anything between having a buddy or not. I also use all the same switch protocols

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